Madonna and Missy Elliot Team Up For the Gap

Word is out. Actually it was out Monday. I'm just slow this week. Madonna and Missy Elliot have signed with The Gap to be featured in an upcoming ad campaign. Of course, there's no word yet on how much Madonna and and Elliot will be paid for their services.


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by Steve Hall    Jun-10-03    




The Coors Twins Are Back

Even though Elaine and Diane Klimaszewski, known as the Coors Twins, have not moved the sales needle in past campaigns, they will be back for another set of television commercials this Summer. In a sort of "climactic" crescendo, both Miller and Coors will have sexy babes in bikinis trying to sell beer.

Miller has the CatFight campaign and Coors is launching a campaign called "Rock On" that includes a spot called "Love Songs Summer" featuring the twins in bikinis surrounded by the usual Summer fare.. The campaign was created by Interpublic Group's Foote, Cone & Belding.

More from the New York Times (Sub Required)


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by Steve Hall    Jun-10-03    




Aggregation, Fragmentation and Weblogs

The media industry has been in a continual state of fragmentation for many years. This is generally a good thing in that it provides consumers with content that is specific to their interests. Fragmentation can, however, be very daunting to the consumer to actually find what they are looking for.

The flipside of fragmentation is aggregation. And aggregation is a powerful business benefit of weblogs. Weblogs are very focused in content and to provide that content, the author of the blog casts a wide net across all possible sources of that particular area of focus and aggregates all relevant content into the blog. This makes for easy, "one stop shop" access to particular areas of focus. And in an ever fragmenting media world, that is a good thing.

If you are marketing to specific audiences with a specific demographic profile and specific areas of interest, consider launching an "aggregation" weblog and deliver only the content that is of interest to that audience.


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by Steve Hall    Jun-10-03    




What is a Weblog? Why We Should Care

I just came home from a Jupiter seminar on weblogs. Specifically, their application to the business world. Like anything new and leading edge, the seminar was filled with "classic" or early adopter bloggers including Dave Winer, Doc Searls, and Dave Weinberger. Pictures (by Dan Bricklin) here.The purpose of the seminar was to get to the heart of how blogs can and are fitting into the world of business. How are they being commercialized? Should they be commercialized? Do they threaten mainstream media? And why do they matter in the first place? Many interesting and intriguing discussions surrounded these topics but none was more volatile and, dare I say, hostile, than one of the keynote speeches given by Tony Perkins, creator and founder of AlwaysOn and former editor in chief the now defunct Red Herring. Perkins claims AlwaysOn in a "super-blog" and described it as a "participatory journalism". He was the antithesis of the "classic" bloggers and represented the "commercialization" side of weblogs.

The usual argument ensued between those in the "classic" camp" and those in the "commercialization" camp. Perkins pleaded with the group for support in defining a blog but the group bit back claiming Perkins has already mis-represented what a blog is in interview with mainstream media. Here's the problem. The "blogoshere", which is the word used to refer to world of weblogs, has been around and has evolved into something fairly well defined. Some would debate that but among bloggers, there's a pretty good understanding of what a blog is. Adrants is a weblog if your were curious. "Classic" bloggers claimed the definition of a blog is being blurred by Perkins because he's not a blogger, he doesn't "get it", and he's describing his new endeavor as a blog when, by definition, it is not a blog.

Now, it's fine if he wants to go out and launch a company that is "based on" the tenets of a blog but to say that he has launched a "commercial" entity that is a blog is clearly wrong and may stunt the potential of weblogs as a business medium

Anytime an entrepreneur grabs onto something and takes it commercial, there are always going to be changes to the "purity" of the underlying platform used to take that entity to commercialism. There's a "dirtyness" to it. But that doesn't always have to be a bad thing. It just needs to be clearly defined for what it is. And Perkins definition of AlwaysOn is not correct. It's not a blog. It's BASED ON blog tenets but it's not a blog. Dave Weinberger states the problem quite well in a post to his blog from the conference:


Now we're fighting again over Tony's (Perkins) use/coopting of the word. The crowd is generally tired of the topic. I'm not, although this is no longer the right place to pursue it. For me, the issue is that we � the Blogosphere � have built something special, post by post, day by day. Tony is misappropriating our work for his own purposes. I have nothing against his purposes � I hope AlwaysOnline succeeds � but having him misuse and abuse the term "blog" makes it harder for us to explain what is special about the world we've built together. It harms the growth of blogging. IMO.

More from Jeff Jarvis.
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by Steve Hall    Jun-10-03    




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GQ's Former Editor Art Cooper Dead

Art Cooper died Monday at Manhattan's New York Hospital. He was 65. He suffered a heart attack during a lunch at the four Seasons and did not recover.

Jim Brady takes a look back and remembers Art and his contributions to the world of publishing.


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by Steve Hall    Jun-10-03    




Mobile Phone Company Got You By The Balls?

That's what this Virgin Mobile spot asks as it promotes its "pay as you go plan". Also from this week's Ad Age TV Spots of the Week are a look at the spot that cost Taco Bell $30 million, a dog dancing for Kibble n' Bits, a look at how Brawny can "pump you up", a do-it-yourself lasagna kit from Kraft, and a new "Larry Lettuce" spot promoting the new chicken salad at Dairy Queen. Yes, Dairy Queen. Salad? Dairy Queen? There's definitely a brand disconnect with this one.
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by Steve Hall    Jun-10-03    




Redbook Fakes Cover Again

You'd think if a magazine was threatened once with a lawsuit for slapping together a cover photo from multiple photos without the consent of the person slapped together, they might think twice before doing it again. Well, apparently, Redbook is just plain dumb because they have done it again.

Julia Roberts is pissed off after the magazine reportedly pieced together a composite picture of the star to put on the cover of the magazine.

According to British newspaper the Daily Sport, Redbook apparently stuck the head of a recent picture of Roberts onto a four year old picture of the Pretty Woman star.

These women are beautiful. Why do publishers have to fuck around with their photos? I don't get it.

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by Steve Hall    Jun-10-03    










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